Paul Merson thinks Newcastle have an ‘excellent chance of staying up’ but just aren’t ‘getting the rub of the green’.

The former Arsenal player points to the three goals scored against Manchester United only yielding one point as ‘disappointing’.

Much as you can talk about bad luck, it must still be a massive worry that only Sunderland have conceded more goals than Newcastle’s 38, with even rock bottom Aston Villa having leaked less.

Despite thinking that Newcastle are ‘playing well’ at the minute, Paul Merson thinks that Dimitri Payet will rip them to shreds, unless a formula is found to stop the former Marseille man.

Merson describes him as the signing of the season and it is just Newcastle’s luck that the midfielder has returned to action this month.

A sub in the 2-0 win over Liverpool, Dimitri Payet orchestrated Tuesday night’s win over Bournemouth, the Frenchman scoring the equaliser and then making the goal that put the Hammers into the lead.

In only 13 Premier League starts, Payer has scored six goals, which include one of the goals when Newcastle lost 2-0 at Upton Park in September, with the Magpies very lucky to escape with only a two goal beating.

Paul Merson has tipped West Ham to pull off a 2-1 win, a result which would see the Hammers potentially move into the top four and which would at the same time put Newcastle into even deeper relegation trouble.

Paul Merson speaking to Sky Sports:

“At the moment Newcastle are just not getting the rub of the green. To score three goals and not win at home is disappointing but they are still right in the fight to stay up.

“I know Sunderland have gone above them but with Swansea getting beat, Newcastle have an excellent chance of staying up.

However, I really like what Slaven Bilic is doing at West Ham. Newcastle have to stop Dimitri Payet. If they can find a way to stop him then they will get a result, but if they don’t then he will rip them to absolute shreds.

“Newcastle are playing well but the problem for them is that I can’t see them stopping Payet. He’s up there with Mesut Ozil in my opinion and he’s 100% the signing of the summer. For West Ham to get him was brilliant. There has got to be a lot of big clubs turning around to their scouting system and asking how he’s not playing for us.

“I’m going for West Ham to keep their run going with a 2-1 away win and Enner Valencia scoring the first goal.”